API said it will work with EPA to improve the agency’s new voluntary program on methane emissions but cautioned against duplicative regulations on oil and gas operations.
'Even as oil and natural gas production has risen dramatically, methane emissions have fallen, thanks to industry leadership and investment in new technologies,' said API Senior Director of regulatory and scientific affairs Howard Feldman. 'Methane is the primary component of natural gas, and emissions will continue to fall as operators innovate and find new ways to capture and deliver more of it to meet consumer demands. Voluntary programs are the best way to reduce methane emissions from existing sources. Industry is already incentivised to best determine how to cost-effectively reduce emissions and will consider participation in a voluntary program provided it has the necessary flexibility and incentives.'
EPA’s latest greenhouse gas inventory reported that methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells are down 79% since 2005. Total methane emissions from natural gas systems are down 11 percent since 2005, a direct result of industry innovation according to API.
'The oil and natural gas revolution is driving unprecedented job growth, providing Americans with affordable energy, and helping to reduce emissions,'Feldman said. 'In fact, safe and responsible development of energy from shale has helped the U.S. cut CO2 emissions to near 20-year lows. Additional regulations on methane by EPA and other agencies could have a chilling effect on the American energy renaissance, our economy, and our progress reducing emissions.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 % of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 25 million Americans.
Edited from various sources by Louise Mulhall